Keyboardist and sampler artist Diane Labrosse is a core member of the Montréal avant-garde music collective Ambiances Magnétiques. In the 1980s she took part to a string of avant-pop feminist groups. Later she switched from keyboards to the sampler and from rock to electronica improv. Although she has released solo albums, her best known works have been with collaborators Ikue Mori and Martin Tétreault. She also appears on numerous albums by other Ambiances Magnétiques artists, especially Jean Derome, Joane Hétu and Michel F Côté. She is co-founder and artistic co-director of the Montréal-based concert production company Productions SuperMémé.
Labrosse was gravitating around L’Enfant Fort and the Pouêt Pouêt Band, collectives of left-field musicians that predate the beginnings of Ambiances Magnétiques. There she met saxophonist/singer Joane Hétu and drummer Danielle Palardy Roger. Together they formed the all-girls group Wondeur Brass. Her quirky keyboard playing which made use of unusual “post new-wave” sounds gave the band its signature on the two LPs Ravir (1985) and Simoneda, Reine des Esclaves (1988). The trio also performed under the name Les Poules, recording one album in 1986 (the unit was revived as an improv project in the early 2000s) and with bassist Marie Trudeau as Justine in the early 1990s, Labrosse’s closest brush with fame, at least in Eastern Europe where the group built a cult following.
In 1985, along with her colleagues she was asked to join Ambiances Magnétiques. There she developed a special affinity with drummer Michel F Côté both in and outside music. She contributed to his first two Bruire albums (especially Les Fleurs de Léo), recorded a duo CD with him (Duo Déconstructiviste) and together they wrote the music for Robert Lepage’s play La Géométrie des Miracles (Geometry of Miracles) and toured with his technological cabaret Zulu Time.
Labrosse released her first solo CD Face cachée des choses in 1995, at the end of Justine’s career and before joining Hétu’s new group Castor et Compagnie. It focused for the first time on the sampler as an instrument, a soft-noise direction she would stick to from then on. Île Bizarre (1998) with Ikue Mori and Martin Tétreault revealed her work to an international audience. With Tétreault she toured Europe and eventually released the duo CD Parasites (2001).